In 2011, a serious radiation accident occurred in Stamboliyski, Bulgaria, in an industrial sterilisation facility using very-highactivity 60C sources. For the five persons accidentally exposed, biological dosimetry based on dicentric analysis was performed in Sofia and in Paris, where the patients were transferred for treatment. Before completing the chromosomal dose assessment, and for the most exposed person, a preliminary cytogenetic evaluation based on electronically transmitted metaphase images was made. The averaged acute whole-body dose estimates for the five patients ranged from 5.2 to 1.2 Gy, and good agreement was obtained between the two laboratories. The patients were also assessed by their prodromal responses and depressed blood cell counts over the first week. The cytogenetic dose estimates were in good accord with those derived from the blood counts, and both techniques indicated that, for the two most seriously exposed persons both techniques indicated that the initial prodromal reactions had suggested somewhat less severe exposure.
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This work was supported by funds from the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN).